Just a week after the Indian central banking authority, the RBI relaxed its stand on cryptocurrencies, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued a notice to the country’s top crypto exchange WazirX. The investigation and enforcement authority has said that the exchange is being summoned for contravention of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act), 1999 for a sum of INR 2,790 crore ($400 million approx).
The notice was issued as a part of the ongoing investigation into the overseas Chinese operated illegal online betting Applications. In the notice, the regulatory body has also named the company Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd that operates the WazriX exchange and has also mentioned the names of its directors Nischal Shetty and Hanuman Mhatre. In 2019, the exchange platform was acquired by Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
In their statement the ED said: ”During the investigation, it was seen that the accused Chinese nationals had laundered proceeds of crime worth ₹57 Crore (approx $8 million) approximately by converting the INR deposits into Crypto-currency Tether (USDT) and then transferring the same to Binance (exchange registered in the Cayman Islands) Wallets based on instructions received from abroad.”
As India is mulling cryptocurrency regulation, the popularity of the top decentralized tokens has soared in the country. However, money laundering and scams are one of the biggest concerns of the authorities.